‘Rightful Heir’ To British Throne Dies In Australia

An Australian forklift driver who some historians argued was the true heir to the British throne has died in the small New South Wales town he called home, his local newspaper reported Thursday.

Mike Hastings, 71, was a real-life aristocrat, born the 14th earl of Loudoun, who moved to Australia in 1960 in search of adventure. He made international headlines in 2004 when a documentary team from Britain’s Channel Four conducted extensive research into the monarchy and concluded his ancestors were cheated out of the crown in the 15th century.

Hastings, an avowed republican, died on June 30 and was buried Thursday in Jerilderie, about 750 kilometres (465 miles) southwest of Sydney, the local Wagga Wagga Daily Advertiser reported. Hastings was a descendant of England’s House of York, whose dynastic struggle with the House of Lancaster became known as the Wars of the Roses and was dramatised by William Shakespeare.


The British documentary’s historian Michael Jones found documents in France’s Rouen Cathedral that he believed showed King Edward IV, who ruled with a brief interruption from 1461 to 1483, was illegitimate. Jones believes that Edward’s father Richard of York was fighting the French at Pontoise when he was conceived, while his mother Cecily was 200 kilometres (125 miles) away at Rouen, allegedly in the amorous arms of an English archer. If true, the crown should have passed on to Edward’s younger brother George, the duke of Clarence, who was a direct ancestor to Hastings.

Hastings showed little interest in pursuing his claim to the monarchy when interviewed by AFP in 2005, citing the intense public scrutiny endured by the royals. However, he joked that his claim to the crown could prove lucrative if confirmed. His son Simon, who now becomes the 15th earl of Loudoun, also appears in no hurry to try to seize the throne.

Do you think Mike Hastings IS the true heir to the UK monarchy? If so, should his son make a rightful claim to it?

Source: Yahoo News

Image: The Huffington Post

Starbucks Using Crushed Bugs in Strawberry Frappuccino?

You can get your Starbucks Strawberry Frappuccino venti, grande or tall. You just can’t get it without insects, to which it owes its pink and rosy color.

In what the company, in a statement, says was a move intended to reduce its use of artificial ingredients, Starbucks has started using cochineal extract to supply its Frappuccinos’ strawberry hue. Cochineal extract is derived from grinding up insects, the dried bodies of cochineal bugs, found primarily in Mexico and South America. Cochineal dye has been used as a coloring agent since the 15th century.

Before you get all cold-and-bothered about your insect-Frappuccino, be advised: Cochineal is considered safe by the FDA, and is widely used for coloration in jams, preserves, meat, marinades, alcoholic drinks, bakery products, cookies, cheddar cheese and many other food products. It has been found by the World Health Organization, however, to cause asthma in some people, and in some others an allergic reaction.


Starbucks’ statement, issued partly in response to vegans’ asking if the use of this ingredient makes Strawberry Frappuccino vegan or not, reads in full:

“At Starbucks, we strive to carry products that meet a variety of dietary lifestyles and needs. We also have the goal to minimize artificial ingredients in our products. While the strawberry base isn’t a vegan product, it helps us move away from artificial dyes. Many Starbucks ingredients can be combined to create a beverage free from animal-derived products; however, we are unable to guarantee this due to the potential cross-contamination with other animal-derived products in our retail locations.”

A vegetarian website, ThisDishIsVegetarian.com, brands the strawberry insecto-Frapp non-vegan.

Source: Yahoo News

Image: Soda Head